Responding to its own article yesterday, the Times editorial strangely argues that wiretapping terrorists and monitoring their financial transactions is a must. Strange, because the NYT has exposed both government programs for doing just that, allowing terrorists to alter their methods of communications — and now, financial transactions.
When government agencies are involved in continuing investigations that might infringe on Americans’ privacy, it is important that some outside entity is keeping track of what is going on. That principle is particularly true now, when the United States is trying to learn how to live in a perpetual war on terror.
What outside entity?
An outside auditing firm is now used to verify that investigators have real intelligence leads behind their requests for information.
Oh, that outside entity. They also mention this:
So far, the only check on the executive branch appears to have come from the Swift executives themselves, who grew increasingly concerned when what they envisioned to be a short-term program seemed on its way to becoming permanent. It was at their insistence that the controls the government now cites were put into place.
If the Swift executives were the ones to argue for controls, we should be happy to know that those running Swift are in fact good, ethical people. Trying to turn this around on the executive branch — because it didn’t first ask for these controls that are now happily in place — shows how illogically intent the NYT is on taking down the Bush administration.